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Us 20, New York 14, U.s. 13, California 12, United States 6, America 6, Maureen 5, Mali 4, Washington 3, Barbara 3, Europe 3, Julia 2, Mauritania 2, Jennifer 2, Reihan Salam 2, Ricardo 2, Algeria 2, Libya 2, North Africa 2, New York City 2,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    February 5, 2013
    6:00 - 9:00am EST  

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for the legitimacy issue that's crucial, because there has to be a political solution and you're absolutely right. the problem is the political elite, what we are seeing is an election that most of them are the same guys. they are a known quantity and they don't have much respect in the street. nevertheless, there has to be a
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timeline for elections. the interim president talks about july. the parliament met two days ago, and they agreed on a timeline that there might be elections, but they haven't picked july as a date. as for the military, there is a window of opportunity. he has lost a lot of support in the coup. a lot of support. that's one. number two, you've got friends now and banco. and they have a possibility to exert pressure to get the military out of business. so that is a window right here. in which you can empower the civilian institutions at the expense of the military. but unless there's a political solution, we are not going anywhere. >> i just want to add, i really want to deemphasize the election. you know, we in america are obsessed with elections. elections are a waste of time. you know? [laughter]
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i mean, unless you have a cohort of political leadership, what is the point of having an election? you needed a jefferson and madison and a washington. you needed a cohort of leaders before you have an election but what's the point of having an election? so some fool will get elected and nominally in charge and he's not really leaving a cohort, there's no sense of political coherence among the elite about what the state is going to be. look at egypt. what's the point of having an election. if you don't have elite coherence about what the future of the state is going to be. you have an election, you make things worse. and eventually, the question is when do you have an election. you clearly have an election after you have a certain degree of elite coherence about what the future articulation of the state is going to be.
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i think it would be disastrous to have an election in mali, until you have a cohort of civilian leaders who are united in articulating that there's going to be a malian state. doesn't make sense. it will throw someone up there, who are they leading? you have to have an army without troops? got to have a sense of elite coherence about what the state is going to be about. and it's not there yet. you have to think logically about these things. so let's stop with the election, stop talking about elections. elections are only valuable at a certain moment in time, after you have a cohort of leaders who agree that there's going to be a state. you don't have that there.
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you don't have that yet in mali. that's my point of view anyway. >> i'm sure -- going out on a limb. lack of elite coherence and having elections, i guess i voted for the last time in d.c. will suspend elections for a while here. before we go to questions, another thing, elephant in the room, i think would be irresponsible of me to open things up with at least having a brief comment from the panel. this week it was reported in the media on the agreement between the u.s. and niger to establish a base for unmanned aerial vehicles. of course, isr purposes, any comments, reactions? >> i mean, you always hear the
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same argument if we set up isr and then we go from completion, isr to drone strikes and things don't go, we accidentally get the wrong group of folks then again you will highlight the folks and whether it's going to be whatever they put the place, it becomes a lightning rods for other folks to come into the area. having said that, i think you need an area to look at because we are talking about a geographic space the size of the united states. so it's a very large massive area to cover. i don't know if there's a right or wrong to this, but there's certain things that need to be factored in. very quickly, too soon if we don't think about this in anybody who has been there, you get one american over there and everybody knows about it. it's not a big place. and so when you start time of
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putting two, 300 on the ground, that's going to garner some attention. >> i don't think i've anything to add to that. >> okay. questions, because a reminder to the audience, those with questions, please ask your question, give everyone a chance to limit yourself to a question and please identify yourself and wait for the microphone. so we will start in the front row here, please. >> ricardo, correctly pointed to the fact that -- >> please identify yourself. >> i'm speaking on my own behalf. he correctly made a connection between the gadhafi regime and what's unfolded in mali. nobody went back and said that
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the chaos that presently obtains in libya, does that have to be addressed to get the situation in mali enhanced? and if i could ask just a similar question. people pointed to the fact that if we look at that subregion, that niger appeared to be somewhat better shape than other places despite the fact it's a bad neighborhood, is there any way that we could involve a policy that would immunize niger from getting infected with the same kind of disease that obtains in northern nigeria or northern mali? >> thank you very much.
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>> thank you very much. i'm an independent analyst here in washington. the mali problem is the most complex i have come across in 40 years, so it's hard to deal with all of it now. there are things said that i think are right on the money. there are others which i disagree with, but i think one that has been left, the u.s. role has been talked about, but i think the first question is why should the u.s. really care? why should americans care? i think that's the issue that should be addressed. i will say that there are all kinds of reasons why the u.s. should care, from their involvement for eight years, and
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if it's not dealt with it will come back and bite the u.s. so i would like the panel to talk about, make the case to the u.s. why should be involved because i don't think that has been made enough. >> i know, forgive me if there are others, i don't recognize -- there is one malian in the room, and i think -- wait for the microphone, please. >> i would like to thank this incredible panel. thrilled to hear the things you talk about today. i'm elected mayor in mali. now, i'm a u.s. educated, but i've returned back home. the question i would like to ask is directed to ricardo, even though it is based on peter's
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introduction, that mali was a failed state, that the issue in mali was a leadership issue, not an ethnic or religious issues. but primarily a leadership issue. and i thank you for truly addressing that. now, you talk about leadership in mali. why should we organize elections? because democracy is a value. that should be enforced everywhere, even in mali. there is an emerging class of leaders, but they are unheard. they are suppressed by bad leadership. leadership should be organized because you would have mali and identified -- after to the
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question, what should we do next? before the election. is hold a national conference as we did in 1991. to bring malians from all force and craft and dedicate integration plan into mali as it has been done before. but on wrong premises. so it is time that we address this in a global point of view instead of just pointing out to arabs, because it is impractical to have that state, given the territory that no single region in mali, how much, 26%. timbuktu or gao. so my question to you, what do we do today in the light of what i said is building the national
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conference, and identify the way to go forward to the next election? now, how do we do to build that cohort of leaders that you talk about? thank you. >> thank you. why don't we take that round and they will take another round. so begin with questions on libya. >> if i could try to -- comprehensively starting them if you don't mind, with the mayor of mali. because i'm entirely -- i'm in favor of elections. the question is when. and tied to that challenge that we are confronting is really the observations that were made. if indeed what we have is a
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convergence of interests between people in the north and people in the southern military establishment that are engaged in contrabands, whether it's narcotics or cigarettes or fuel, then what we have is a very important economic linkage that will stand in the way of creating a civilian government. so then this is where the political economy of the reconstruction of the malian state then becomes the next challenge. because if there is an incentive for southern military officers and northern rebels to remain linked because of that contraband issue, we will have to overcome that in order for civilian leaders like yourself who come to the floor and then reconstitute the malian state. if that's the case, then our challenge is considerably more
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complex than what i thought it would be at the beginning of this two-hour conversation. now, this conversation has value because we now have rearticulated a particular challenge, the political economy that underlies the future reconstitution of the malian state. going to your question about niger, niger has been advantage into the present moment because there's not the degree of animosity in niger between the tuareg people and the other ethnic groups within mali. and furthermore, the new president of mali specifically designated -- niger, specifically designated as his minister of defense, someone from the tuareg community, which then provided for prime minister between the two communities. so there's a different set of
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politics operating, and a different history with regard to the degree of animosity between those in power in the mnla and those residing elsewhere in the country who may belong to the tuareg community. that is not exportable to mali because of mali's different history. and now as america stands come because of the different the malian state. so then getting back to what you ask, what is it we need to do. i said, i want to reemphasize there was a saying about two years, we first have to recognize that this is a regional question that has to be addressed regionally. it is a question that does not engage the deployment of u.s. troops because of the blowback that has involved with the
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insurgency. but it does involve a level of intelligent engagement, using the resources that are appropriate for the resolution of the problem, which is the provision of our formidable intelligence gathering services, the provision of wise investments to the constitution of the malian, not just malian, other civil society, in the eventual subordination of military officers or militias to a central army. those are the objectives that we need to engage, only if we do agree, and i think we should agree, that there's an emerging crisis that is taking place in the south. [inaudible] >> it was from the leader. who brokered the deal that led
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to the end of that insurgency. and my question remains, what can we do to help immunize niger? because the danger, in my humble opinion, is that the insanity that rages in the sub region, the last thing is -- the body politics. >> go ahead. >> first, interrelated to what's happening in mali to go to other tensions. is that what happened in northern mali, revenge on them, it will have repercussions elsewhere. that's extremely crucial. that's number one. number two, they have done a better job in addressing the problem, though more cooperation
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than addressing the real grievances. up to now, the tuaregs obvious they don't feel that they have benefited from the resources coming from other areas but it hasn't been addressed. so even there, there is discontent that must be addressed but you can't just rely on appointing a prime minister which is crucial obviously, but that's not enough. so even there there is civil discontent. niger has benefited from external aid. we know right now the united states and europe, that's the zone of perfection. there is huge emphasis of them to rebuild the security forces and in terms of financial aid. so more of that obviously needs to be done. we go back to what i said, incapable, the nigerians for more or less have been willing but incapable.
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so that's why the europeans and the americans, they are concentrating on niger and on mauritania. >> one other dimension i would add also, there's a chief complaint from the uranium mine that dust is getting into the waterways and a lot of kids are affected by it. so heavy grievances there. but you are spot on. in terms of why do we care in the region, i mean, that's a great question. you know, the obvious, i spent a lot of time on the counterterrorism side thinking from a region, if we allow this, i could call it a cancer, it's going to fester, metastasize. we are seeing growth in the energy sector, so oil and gas, they're always finding new fields. ghana is a great example. the oil industry, its booming. there are other places around
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west africa. in one region there's potential for oil gas up in certain quadrants between the borders of mali and mauritania. you have western companies out looking for this. exxonmobil, bp, diamond offshore, all these companies are out there, so you've got westerners operating in the region and if you start seeing attacks like the one we saw in algeria, that's going to cause some impact economically. you will see that, but the other thing is, i always use france as an example from a threat to base, you have 10% of the french population is of some percentage north africa, whether its first, second, third, or fourth generation. you have individuals from within these groups that are sympathetic to the aqim cause or the islamist cause in the region, you know. if you keep this unchecked what you're going to have is a
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migration flow, potential attacks in europe, yeah, people with the dual citizenship. whether they are carrying a french passport or whatever passport. so you've got to look at this in a holistic way. also if we continue to allow this black market to fester, that's going to continue. i mean, a good chunk of cocaine now going into europe is coming through the plains, and it keeps growing and growing. so there are multiple factors. we can go on and on, but we have to look at this in a -- holistically. the other thing is i always use the balloon theory. we've done a wonderful job of
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going after them. we've done a great job in some of the old guard. we've picked off one by one and we take them out. there's a new generation, and this is not like a central command that when you squeeze that bullets going to come out the path of least resistance to in jihadi form, i think back in april of last year, there was an interesting that they came out. it was all of west africa, north africa, and then the map of mali in the middle which was all black, and these great big black arrows going up into northern africa into nigeria, you know, across the plains. there's a plan out there that they want to destabilize and control this region, kind of make mali as a beachhead to expand in the region. and that's going to all kinds of consequences that we need to pay attention to. so just putting in a bigger picture, you know, it is important and we can't let it go. >> if you would respond if you are able or willing, the question as it comes up very frequently on u.s. training,
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what happened with the counterterrorism partnership, all that. >> sure. in a simple way, after the 32 europeans were kidnapped, they came across the board and somalia and what you have is the algerians negotiate. this is circa 2003. algeria negotiates 17 of the 32 hostages were released. then we go into a time of negotiation, and then the hostages were released for a time of -- a sum of 5 million euros. we worked on a program called the pan to hell initiative. it was successful because we did very little in terms of working with mali, with niger, with chad to kind of give them a little bit of intelligence and whatnot so they're able to chase them across the sahara.
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he was finally captured in northern chad. having said that then, what we have is things were happening. circa 2004, 2005 there were discussions on counterterrorism programs to east africa, and counterterrorism initiatives was expanding in the horn of africa. and so folks were going hey, the initiative worked very well over here, and we're doing some programs in the horn, like it would do something more robust? that's the genesis that got us into the ostpc. the operation enduring freedom trend and the counterterrorism program. so as a starter looking at this, looking at this holistically. and oef ts covers 11 countries, unless that changed. i'm not sure.
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we have some military folks here. it's about 10, 11 countries. so the program was actually to get these countries to try to tackle the threat that was potentially going to grow or was growing in the region. we did a lot of training. mali was a recipient of this training. however, we had to start off with the basics and then kind of build from there. it was an integration of trying to get mali to work regionally. now, we were looking ahead and we were taking a forward step in this. nobody, there's no military in the world no matter what training, you can't stop people from doing whatever they want to do in their sovereign country. so it's not a mistake that the united states made. we were moving in a positive direction from a dod standpoint. what sunoco does is what sunoco does. people are people. there's no coeditor should be any responsibly pointy thing of the u.s. military for having done anything wrong.
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we didn't do anything wrong. we were actually doing something very positive in the region. we just need to continue from here. and i think the current crisis highlights that we need to expand that to a certain level to get it to a place where at least the host countries can handle things properly. because when you look for successful c.o.i.n. in the long term, you want to finally walk away from a country and allow it to handle its own issues and the threats that may come back into it. >> if i can add. there were a lot of good reasons for the coup. from a soldier's perspective. i'm not a military analyst. i'm a political scientist. but as i told you anecdotally in my e-mails with someone who have fought with kona, that machine gun was not very stabilized on his pickup truck.
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and not being a military analyst and while uploading with unit states tries to do in terms of training folks in mali and elsewhere, when you just do a cursory examination of the equipment that was available to the malian army, and i didn't have a chance to look at rifles and machine guns, but i just took a look, you know, online of what they have in terms of aircraft. didn't have any helicopters, none. i think they had two or three fighter jets. all about 30 years old. they were migs. they had maybe six or seven airlift capability with six wing aircraft. again, they were 35 years old.
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so from that perspective i have a reason to have a coup. you are sending me up in the army, i don't have adequate equipment. you're putting me in a position of being responsible for -- with this insurgency. and i'm not adequately commented, being provincial. although we engage in the transparent counterterrorism program, you know, we did the best that we could. we tried to teach them how to shoot. we tried to teach them how to engage in reconnaissance. we tried to teach them movement. when you really look at whether they were well provisioned to function as an army, which is a more fundamental question, we engaged that question. they work. which -- they weren't. which provoke more analysis of whether the money we invested in the program was well invested. we haven't addressed the fundamental question of the provisioning of the army. >> actually if i may, i would
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say probably if i had to pin it down to one point of failure where i think we could have done better is, when we addressed the mali military, you know, and i use this as a loose example, say, do you want counterterrorism training, the answer is yes. do you want to go and stop al qaeda, absolutely yes. but we never followed up with the most important question is what is your definition of al qaeda. what is your definition of a threat? because i think what we would have discovered very quickly is those tuareg up north, those guys that are ethnically different, creating these rebellions, and i think this is where i think we should have dug a little bit deeper in and just go well, time out. those are your own people within your own borders, and because what you see is in 2006 going forward, the mali military is never engaged directly with the guys come across the border. have always allowed that to
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factor in the north. the tuareg cells engaged three times against heavy losses. and so i can come it takes the question of why did we miss that. but lessons learned moving forward. >> i have to apologize, because of our collaboration with our television partners, we are running down to the wire here. so i think we have time for one more question. >> thank you. marina with the wilson center. i would like to push a little more on this issue. because it seems to me that listening to you about what we should do, and i'm not saying you are wrong. i'm not saying put boots on the ground, not a heavy footprint or anything of the sort.
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but what i hear essentially is we have to continue doing what we have been trying to do with the initiative, south of the previous initiative that i can never keep straight in my mind, so on and so forth. we have always talked about the issue and it is never been, we never look at the issue as sovereign. separate problems in separate countries and so on. ..
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>> i have only a couple seconds. the bottom line, excellent question. i think it's not just advocating. i think what we need to do is look at the program and see where it failed and where it actually did very well and try to address, you know, those points of failures and try to fix it. but i think we just can't divorce it, we can't walk away from it and say, well, it completely failed, so we're not going to do anything. we have to look at it, again, holistically, and then try to make it better. just from going forward. and we can talk offline over what those things can be. >> okay. thank you very much, rudy, for that. and thank you for joining us. please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> today congressional budget office director douglas elmendorf releases the agency's 2013 budget and economic outlook. we'll be live starting at 2 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. and also at 2 p.m. eastern, a bipartisan group of house members unveil gun trafficking legislation. you can see it live on our companion network, c-span3. >> ya loved her time -- julia loved her time in the white house. she said in her memoirs it was like a bright and beautiful dream, quite the most wonderful time of my life. so i think that gives you some idea how much she enjoyed being first lady and how she felt that her husband had finally achieved the recognition that she deserved. >> edith mayo on julia grant who married her brother's west point roommate, you'll cease s. grant. first ladies: influence and image, their public and private
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lives, interests and the their influence on the president produced with the white house historical association. season one begins presidents' day, february 18th, at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> domestic workers are individuals who are employed privately in homes to care for children, the elderly or the disabled. next, a discussion on the nation's immigration policies and how domestic workers need to be factored into the equation. from the aspen institute, this is an hour, 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. i don't think it's on either. [laughter] is it on now? great. okay. good afternoon, everyone. thank you so much for joining us. i'm maureen conway, i'm the
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executive director of the economic opportunities program here at the aspen constitute, and i'm -- institute, and i'm delighted to welcome you to today's event, home economics, a discussion about the unregulated world of domestic work. this is the fifth discussion we're having in your series, ideas that can work for employers, employees and the economy, and i'm very grateful to the ford foundation for their generous support of this discussion series. today in america about one in five working adults are in jobs that can reasonably be characterized as low wage. that is, if they were able o work full--time for a year in these jobs, they still would not earn enough money to lift a family of four above the poverty line. this is a substantial portion of our adult labor force, so i'm not talking about kids here. and over the past few years as we've come out of the recession, we've seen that relatively more of these kinds of jobs have been
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created than sort of mid-wage or high-wage jobs. moreover, when you look at projections from the bureau of labor statistics about which occupations are likely to create the most jobs over the next decades, these are the kinds of jobs which are the ones expected to create the most jobs, so it's a significant challenge that we really need to think about how to address. for the most part, our public policy response to helping workers try to get jobs or get better jobs is to improve their job prospects through training, helping workers get the skills that they need to get into better jobs. and certainly providing skill-building and training opportunities is a very important thing that we should be doing more of for everybody who needs and wants additional skills. but as i've spent time, and i have spent quite a bit of time over my career talking with people who run training programs in a variety of places across the country, over the past few
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years i hear more and more that there are quite a lot more people who are in immediate of skill -- who are in need of skills and better jobs than the job opportunities than they can see in their economy that will actually support a family for which they could design training and help people get into. so the numbers just weren't working for them. people say, oh, you should have a good program, you should make it larger, but i can't find more jobs, so there's not really any point in making it larger. so this is, so this is sort of the conundrum that led us to having these conversations series around these low-wage jobs and to try to think about what are other kinds of ideas that are out there for improving the quality of jobs. so i didn't know what the answer was, so that's why i invited people like this to come and talk about what might be done and why it might be different. in some of our previous discussions, we've looked at restaurant and food industries, residential construction, home
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health and long-term care, retail trades, for those conversations we set up, we would write sort of a three or four-page summary of, um, you know, sort of information about the industry, what are industry trends, how many workers are in the industry and what do they look like, what kind of skills and experience they have. and we thought about doing that for this one, too, but we didn't for two reasons. the first is, um, there's very, very little information about domestic workers. if you go to the bureau of labor statistics' web site and you put in domestic workers, mostly what you get are footnotes saying they are excluded from this data stat. they're not included in payroll employment, they're not included in insurance records, unemployment regards. um, it's a very private employment relationship, and there's really just not very much information about them. the second, the second reason is that we have this great report. [laughter] from the national domestic
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workers' alliance and their colleagues, and i could hardly do percent than that. do better than that. and i really recommend it to you. they surveyed over 2,000 domestic workers and it has great information about the wages and working conditions and what the work of domestic work is really like today in america. um, so in lieu of sort of, you know, a few facts and figures about the industry, we thought we would set the stage instead by having you hear directly from a domestic worker about how she thinks about her work, and so i will ask my colleague, maya goodman, to go ahead and show you a very brief film, about four minutes, from a domestic worker. ♪ ♪ >> my name is mary champion. i came to the u.s. from barbados 20 years ago, and aye been taking care of the elderly and kids for the past 19 years.
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i started in barbados when i was a teenager, matter of fact. started work very early, matter of fact. and especially if your parents were not the kind of parents to push you into education. [inaudible] was one of my dear and closest clients. he was a pediatrician. he had hip problems. the day that i met him, he was sitting in his den. i asked him if he can walk, and he said, yes. and i said, well, as of today, you'll be having your meals in the dining room. and that's where i started the process of bringing him out of the shell that he was slowly putting himself into. watching tv and seeing the violence and things that were happening, he was scared. another time i said let's just walk from one end of the patio to the other, and he did that a
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couple of times. and i keep on doing that until i got him in his wheelchair. then soon after that he would start going to weddings and bar mitzvahs and stuff like that. i think being a part of each others' life not only make him feel better, it also prolong his life for six and a half years. to me, he felt like a part of my family after a while, and i think the same thing was for him. it was a thanksgiving that we went to, and sitting around this table with 20 some other people, i'm the only black person in the room. and i said the to his nephew, i'm like the fly in the milk. [laughter] and he said to me, you're no fly in no milk. and, i mean, that made me feel welcome. they did. i was taking care of like a human being. dr. steiner had a great
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influence in me doing my ged because he always used to say to me you are better than some of the doctors that i worked with because of your bedside manner. of when i finally got my ged, i was 53. you're never too old to learn. i got my nanny certificate for domestic workers. to get certification as a nanny is very important, especially when you're going on a new job. it also helps because it tells your potential employer that you can take care. we learn pediatrics, how to take care of new babies. we learn nutrition is taking care of kids and stuff like that. you learn negotiation, you learn how to carry yourself, your presentation is very important. i'm proud of being able to draw people out that i'm taking care
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of, and i can get that person to smile. i'm happy. and it makes my day. and i hope that this piece will also not only tell employers that domestic workers are human beings too and we need respect, i'm also telling domestic workers to respect themselves. and when you respect yourself, respect will follow. ♪ ♪ >> great. well, that was a really, um, nice clip, and i want to thank the caring across general rations campaign for -- generations campaign. what i particularly like about that story, well, we'll have a lot of conversation, and you can read about some of the challenges domestic workers face, but i particularly like that that story also presents sort of how this can be a very
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positive experience, being a domestic worker, and that there's a positive vision for this work. and that's what i love, also, about some of our panelists today. while they recognize all the challenges, they also hold this positive vision of what's possible. um, so let me quickly introduce them so that you can have a conversation. i do want to make a couple quick announcements. one is we will be doing q&a following the panel and, please, wait we're recording this, so please wait for the or microphone and introduce yourself when you get the microphone. we are also tweeting, and the hash tag is domesticworkerai. so feel free to tweet, but please do keep your phones on silent. okay. so now i can introduce our illustrious panel. you have their bios in your material, so i will just quickly introduce them. right near me is judy patrick, president and ceo of the women's foundation of california. next to her is ai-jen poo,
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director of the national domestic workers alliance. barbara young who is a national organizer and former domestic worker with the national domestic workers' alliance. she is adjacent to mary romero, professor of justice studies and social inquiry at arizona state university. and we're very grateful to have jennifer ludden of npr here to moderate today's discussion. so i will turn it over to jennifer. thank you all for being here. >> thank you, maureen, and thanks, everyone, for coming. i'm happy to see a number of men in the audience, because caregiving is often talked about as being a woman's job, and sometimes part of the reason it's under the radar and hoe-paid. [laughter] we know it affects ever, men as well as women, so thank you all for coming. i personally have had the experience of hiring a nanny, that's my -- [inaudible] i think, though, until i was
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three months pregnant, i'm sure no one ever thinks that they will need that. and so i think that it's kind of a surprise to so many people even though it shouldn't. and it was striking that the process of finding someone for such a fundamental role, in my case raising my children, became so haphazard and completely unregulated. and you're talking to friends, you're looking at ads in a little local newspaper, or you're going on someone else's word, and it's frightening and crazy in a way. and overwhelming. really overwhelming. i think it was the most stress i had about having children. i didn't know the cost of college tuition then. [laughter] but this was stressful. and then, of course, you find a wonderful caregiver, and it makes everything work. but you also realize that it is a very unequal relationship.
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you're in charge, there's no union, there's no contract unless you draw it up, and you, you know, you come to understand wonderful people you really like may not pay benefits or taxes, that people may not ask for this, employees may not ask for this. it's really uncharted territory. and, of course, there are abuses that we, some of them we read about in the media and i'm sure many others we don't. and the big picture, as maureen mentioned, this is one of the fastest growing areas in the economy, caregiving. the baby boomers just started turning 65, that's a huge demographic movement in the economy that will drive this industry, and yet you have wage pressures all around for home health ailds in particular. much of the funding comes from medicaid, the government. we know the budget pressures there. and the individual employers'
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side you have budget pressures because it's not just caregivers, but other people in increasingly low-wage jobs. just to put some numbers on what maureen mentioned, 21% of job losses during the recent reis session but 58% of new jobs in the recovery. so how can domestic work, largely unregulated, provide not just job, but decent jobs that will keep these workers out of poverty, or what are the challenges and opportunities? we'll talk a little bit later about immigration reform and the prospect for that. so let's start with challenges and opportunities. barbara, since you are, have been a domestic worker, tell us a bit about your experiences, the good, the bad and the challenges that you hear in your work today from caregivers? >> well, as a domestic worker, um, we take care of the most important element of the
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employer's life, the children, the elderly parents and the home. and i did that for 17 years in new york. i started as an elder caregiver for one year, and then i switch and become, and then i became a nanny. i did both live-in work and live-out work as a nanny. and i would say what's good about the job, you interview for the job, you meet the family, and then there's the kids. and when i started -- >> that's the good and the bad part? [laughter] >> guest: this is the good part. you get to, you get to bond with the kids. and i'm in the -- the parents go off to work, and i'm in the house with the kid, watching the kid grow, you know, taking care of the kid. and you see how close the can
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kid becomes to you -- the kid becomes to you, and everything that kid does, are you proud of me? are you proud of me? yes, i'm proud of me. and the kid trusts you a lot more than they trust the parents. [laughter] and that is one of the good parts about being a nanny. then you get to love, really love the care work you're doing. and then you hear people who are taking care of the elderly. they tell you how the elderly person, um, get to love them and look up to them. and the care that, for the care that they're giving them. the bad thing about the job, i would say, is sometimes the pressures. there's no guidelines. the low pay. as the report will show, how many workers are working below
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the minimum wage in these jobs. and then there is the long hours that you're working as a caregiver in some person's home. i was working between 12-14 hours a day. some people work longer hours, as much as 24 hours. it all depends on the job that you're doing. at one point i did a 24-hour job for tens where i started with a five-week-old baby and sleep in the same room as the baby, and i had to wake up in the night and take care of the baby every three hours. so, and then again there is the lack of benefits in these jobs. i had no health insurance, um, and one of my jobs i had no social security. and the report will show only 9% of employers pay social security
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for the workers that they employ. so this is the, this is, um, some of the challenges that you get in working in the home. >> let's hear more of that. ai-jen, you're the national domestic workers' alliance did a report recently. give us some highlights of what you found that was surprising. >> absolutely. so we found in our survey that more than 20% of domestic workers are still earning below minimum wage, and when you look at live-in workers, it's even worse. more than 60% of the work force earns below minimum wage, and what that often translates into is just deep poverty, food ip security. so -- insecurity. we actually found that 20% of the work force has been in a position within the last month of when the survey occurred that they didn't have enough money for food. and so that we found is that the
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work force that we count on to take care of our families, um, can't actually take care of their own in this situation. >> mary, can you give us a historical perspective on how this situation has evolved and what are some of what you call the hidden costs in this structure? >> well, it's interesting to look at domestic service, because it's managed to survive slavery, feudalism and intercapitalism, yet it still carries the vestiges of each of those to a certain degree. and i think we see those specifically in the way in which it hasn't been, um, included in labor regulations that we have with other jobs today. um, and, of course, this kind of work is not going to disappear because people still have to raise their children, they have to care for their, for the elderrerly, and they need to care for those that are sick. what we find right now is sort of a continuum, in -- that we're
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living with. on one side you have domestics who are employed to work for one employer. they may be doing that in a live-out or a day work kind of situation. they may or may not be receiving benefits; social security, taxes being taken, so forth. you also have the emergence of co-op workers where workers are getting together and developing their own co-ops and going out and working together. and, of course, you also have cleaning agencies which don't necessarily provide any better, um, working conditions or pay or benefits for the employers. the work situation also, there's quite a variety in there, although the women are hired with the job description that may include child work, and then they find themselves also expected to cook, to clean. those that are doing, hired to clean house, um, may find themselves also cooking and doing chiewld work.
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so -- child work. so there is a difficulty in maintaining the job description. and, of course, there's the working conditions, as barbara mentioned. the long hours, there's a variation in that, the amount of pay that they're getting, receiving. of there's also, um, the exposure to toxic chemicals particularly for women who are cleaning the houses. it's interesting to look back at social science research because in the '60s they predicted that this was a vanishing occupation, that americans would never, um, be able to tolerate having the to work with or maintaining an occupation in which they considered someone inferior. it was against the american character. um, they also figured that so much of this was going to be commodified and lee -- and leave the household. of course, this didn't occur. although african-american women don't dominate the occupation anymore, women of color, primarily immigrant women,
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dominate the occupation. we find that women have left the homes, they're working outside the home in large numbers. there is no state programs to help working families. um, there's no state programs to help them care for their elderly. people are living longer today, and they're live aring alone. and so -- living alone. and so the way we live has changed, our commutes to work have increased so that we have less and less time to do in this kind of labor on our own. um, and, of course, the hidden costs, um, there is a hidden cost within the employers -- employee's family. that is she's not there to do that work. her children go without in order to provide financial means for the family. um, there's also the hidden cost of working families for all, both the employers and the employees. the state has not stepped in to help these individuals, and if we continue to treat in this as
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a private issue rather than a public issue. >> judy, the women's foundation of california, you work to build women's economic security. can you tell us how to you define that, and what are you doing to make it -- >> so we define economic security really based on the work that wider opportunities for women pioneered many years ago and are now using the economic security tables best. and the thinking behind that is, you know, a woman and her family are economically secure when they have enough to meet the costs, the resources and the social connections to meet the cost for good and safe housing, for healthy food, for access to good education for their kids, health care, transportation, sort of the full package. so for a family of four right now that -- and this, as many of you know, are county-by-county
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calculation, but it's around $68,000 to please neat basic costs. so -- to meet these basic costs. so this is the equivalent of four full-time jobs to meet the balk cost of living. the basic cost of living. i think, you know, to just talk a bit about the cultural challenges, many of them -- about the challenges, many of them have been mentioned, but i think there's a whole set of cultural challenges that we can't ignore when we think about this issue. so we still, i believe, live in a country with the boot strap mentality which is ha if you work -- that if you work hard enough, you will achieve economic security. and it's resulted, i think, in a workplace system that doesn't have the policies and protections that we really need in place to let people take care of their economic needs. um, as jennifer mentioned when we started, this is, women's work continues to be devalued in this country regardless of what it is, and i think that there's
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an extreme devaluing of the work that domestic workers do. i'll talk a little bit about this later when i talk about some of the policy work we're doing in california specifically with our governor there. and there's, i think there's a way that the argument gets made that this has allowed women to step into the workplace. i think it's also provided, um, some men -- again, with the opportunity to not carry their full weight in the maintenance of households. so i think this is one of the culture issues that we have. we also have a rush to the bottom in this country both, i think, in terms of services and what we pay for goods. and i think we all want to get the best price on a good or a service, and this continually depresses wages. and then, obviously, we've spoken about that a little bit, but it's this grand intersection of race and gender and immigration status that, i think, makes such a difference
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in the work here. >> let's talk about employers a little bit. judy, staying with you, you know, we've mentioned parents of young kids, maybe children of aging parents or the elderly themselves will hire someone. a lot of this is women hiring women. what should we keep in mind when we look at this and think about the employers? >> yeah. um, so i want to start by saying that there are really good, there are good employers out there, and i think that there are employers who don't do as good a job as could be done in taking care of this, um, particular work force. we are lucky at the women's foundation we have a group of donors, and their associates and friends care deeply, that hire domestic workers that care deeply about this population that have really been willing to organize their friends and lobby on behalf of the legislation we
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worked on in california in sacramento. and i think that's made a huge difference. but we also, i think -- this is about organizing, right? it's about organizing workers, but it's also about organizing employers, to help employers understand what does it mean to provide a good working situation for the people that they employ? what does it mean to actually write a contract? there's a lot of education that i think we can to on this side of the equation, and that's part of the work we have to do. >> barbara, what would, what would you like to add on this relationship, employer/employee, and do you have advice to give, you know, domestic workers in how to manage it? >> um, i can tell you my experience in working with employers. now, there are some good employers, but there are some
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employers who don't, that don't see themselves as employers. they can interview 25 applicants and choose one person that they think is the best perp for the job -- the best person for the job. and then the person go in to work, they still don't see themselves as an employer. and so they give you tasks to do. for instance, i started with one child, and i was getting less, i would say, than the minimum wage. and four years after there was a second child, and for the second child i didn't get any increase. >> did you ask for that? did you bring it up? >> i did not. i did not bring it up, and they didn't offer me anything for the second child. and this was a live-in job. however, i stayed with that job
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for eight years. and see how the kids get so close to me, and, um, i would say to the child when the parents come home, i say go talk to your parents, and they say i did already. they just go and say hello, and they come back to me. [laughter] and they, they just want to be with me. the employers have no guidelines. there's no set guidelines for employers. so then they hire you, they increase the tasks that you do. they just pay a flat rate. i think what we need is for employers to have guidelines, have regulations to follow in hiring a worker.
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and most workers afraid to complain for fear of retaliation and for fear of losing the job. this is all they have to support themselves and their families, and although it is such a little built, it is manager at the end of -- it is something at the end of the week. and then they need a way to document their hours. and this is as an organizer now this is what i say to people. i say get a notebook, document the hours you work so that you would have something whether if the employer give you a contract, whether a verbal contract or a physical contract, you would have something after you document your hours that you can look back, you can look back to. and these are the things that happen when the work continue
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and more tasks added, more relationships start to go bad because people are internalizing what's happening in their, in the home. remember, we are not family members. as domestic workers, we're not family members. we're there to exchange work for paycheck. >> which can be hard to remember because the children probably do think of you as a family member. marry, what else can be -- mary, what else can be done to sort of impose some regulation on this relationship and give more power, i guess, to the employee. >> i want to build on what barbara has said. what i've come across is that there is a really strong feeling that the relationship between the employer and the employee in this situation is quite different. and because they're engaged in a labor of love that needs to be treated different, that it's unique from other kinds of living situations.
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and i have to say i don't accept that approach because et allows -- it allows for excuses to justify micromanaging and also for exploiting the worker. it's interesting to look at the research on employers', um, practices, and it's very clear that employers hire on the basis of who they feel comfortable with, who do they feel comfortable having in their home, who do they feel comfortable giving orders to, who do they feel comfortable that -- cleaning for them, etc. instead of that, it seems to me that in any other work situation employers should be looking at the workers' experience, their skills and hiring them on the basis of that. if you hire the best employer that's out there that has experience and skill, they don't need to be micromanaged. you respect them as a worker as you would in any other situation.
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so employers also need to recognize that when they hire somebody, um, to do care work or to clean their house, their home becomes somebody else's workplace, and they need to make that adjustment and respect the employee and their rights and, um, respect the work that they do. >> ai-jen, is there a way to encourage of this kind of thinking in employers without alienating them or -- what are you trying to do? >> well, i would say that employers are very diverse, as diverse as the work force, and, um, i think that what we've always done is assumed the best and that assumed that people want to do the right thing. and if they just know what that is and we make it easy for them, that they will step up. and so we've actually worked in close partnership with employers over the years and in new york
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state, for example. employers were heavily involved in winning a bill of rights for domestic workers that was passed in 2010. we went to an organization called jews for racial and economic justice, and they formed an association of employers through many different synagogues in new york city, and can that employers' association essentially came in said they believe in standards and guidelines, and they believe that having standards and guidelines is actually in the employers' interests as well, um, because they were tired of this very arbitrary, unpredictable -- as much as it's a wild west for workers, it can also feel that way for employers as well. so they created a supportive space for employers to come together, talk about their experience as employers, what they were struggling with, what they were grappling with and then supported them to understand what some good guidelines might look like. >> something you can download -- >> it is. there's a web site.
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the domesticemployers.org. and the association is now national. it's called hand in hand. and under the notion that healthy homes and good workplaces go hand in hand. and, um, they were -- we did all kinds of educational forums with employers. we're organizing together in a neighborhood called park slope in new york, in brooklyn to create a neighborhood-wide code of care where employers and workers and local businesses and local elected officials are all supporting a set of standards that even goes beyond the domestic workers' bill of rights in new york state. and i would say that that experience has led to just a lot of different kinds of creative ways of working together across workers and employers to promote standards, respect and dignity. um, and i think that there's a lot of possibility there. and they're actually doing training for employers about what it means to have someone
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working in your home and what kind of dynamics that creates and what to look out for and how to prepare, um, and things like that. so it's a real partnership there. and we were able to do things like we organized a march, a children's march for the domestic workers' bill of rights that was led by the children that domestic workers care for, the children of employers, and the domestic workers' children themselves. and there were signs that said respect my mommy and respect my nanny, and, you know, it was the kind of thing that showed what's possible when you actually create the opportunity for people to do the right thing and support them to do so. >> you mentioned training for employers. maureen talked about training for employees as a widespread way to try and increase skills to then, hopefully, increase pay. ai-jen, what is happening in this world for employee, and then the question is, does it actually pay off?
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can someone actually find a higher paying job if they have x skills? >> our work has been, the national nest irk workers' -- domestic workers' alliance has been working to bring domestic workers together to shine a light on the realities that barbara and others have talked about and mary have talked about, to raise awareness about both the value of this work and its centrality to our families and our economy, but also the need for really strong protections and guidelines and for us to have a real public conversation about the need for care. it's a reality, and we need to talk about it. and we've done things like fight for labor protections. in new york in 2010, we passed the first domestic workers' bill of right, and we're working to pass similar legislation in california, and i think judy's going to talk about that. and three additional states -- massachusetts, illinois -- and four more states in 2014. we're in a real moment where there's increasing awareness and
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an opportunity to really reverse the historic exclusion that this work force has faced in the labor protections in the current labor law framework. and there's a real awakening, i think, and an opportunity to have this conversation in a more public way. and training programs like the nanny training program like marlene talked about in the video are now being scaled and replicated around the country as well as elder care training programs. and so more and more people are starting to understand that this is skilled work, and this is dignifies work, and it should be really values -- valued and seen as such. >> judy is training something that philanthropists could get involved in, and what would you look for? >> i think part of that challenge within philanthropy and within the work force development system is a deeper understanding of what's actually happened in the work force. so there is such a draw, i
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think, among philanthropists and also the work force development system, the work force investment boards to think that where we really need to invest now is in helping people get the training they need for higher-wage jobs which -- and jobs with career ladders which would be wonderful. but as maureen said, these are not the jobs, these are not the sectors that are growing in our country right now. so part of the work in philanthropy, i think, is to help, um, is for this community to understand that we have another challenge which is to improve the quality of low-wage work. and i think that's a lot of what the domestic worker movement is really about. and there are other places, restaurant workers, etc., in our country where we're really
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finally saying, you know, let's make these better jobs because this is where the jobs are. and it's a different can kind of investment, and we have to convince philanthropists and the public sector that it's worth the investment to really stabilize women and families in employment. so i think that's part of where we need to go in philanthropy. and part of that is, i think, advocacy work within the public sector that looks at the metrics of the work force investment system and what actually gets measured and where the investments get placed. we've been doing some research in california right now to look at how can we really invest in job training for low-wage health care workers, domestic workers, home health care workers. and i have been told so many times in talking to people working in work force investment this is a population that is simply -- it just falls off the
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screen, people say to me. because the system doesn't work for training for these people. so, yes, i think training is really important. funding the advocacy that can help shift some of these systems and expectations, funding communications around this work is another role that philanthropists can play. funding the alliance building that's necessary. we've certainly seen in california that one of the big challenges in getting the domestic worker bill passed was its impact on the disability community, right? that is a piece of work that is, you know, it requires time, it needs to be invested in because these are both populations that we care about, right? so how do we resource the work to build an alliance? >> and tell us a little bit more about the disability community which has been vocal and influential in this area. >> well, so much of, so many people in that community are
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dependent on their care. it's funded by public dollars, right? and so if, i mean, their fear is that if their costs of getting care go up, they will get less costs or less care at a time when state budgets are shrinking every place -- >> came out when the obama administration proposed changes to the wage and hour and overtime regulation -- >> right. >> and so the community was very concerned. >> yes, absolutely. and it's played out in california in exactly the same way. >> with okay. um, ai-jen laid out a very ambitious plan for expanding the state organizing around this. barbara, you're involved in that. tell us what in your experience, what works, maybe what hasn't worked in trying to organize a grassroots movement in this area. >> i must say, first, the
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national domestic workers eye -- workers' alliance is growing. we started in 2007 with 11 organizations, and today we have 40 affiliate organizations in 23 cities and 14 states. and we're amplifying the efforts of domestic workers mostly, they're mostly women, mostly immigrant population that's doing this work now, and we're amplifying our efforts around the country and around these workers to improve the lives, their lives. and what we have is, um, building their confidence. we have a training program now for domestic workers. the solidarity organized
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leadership program and to mobilize and to build leadership among domestic workers. ai-jen talked about the new york domestic workers' bill of rights, and we're trying to have or more domestic workers' bill of rights because we are an excluded work force from the national labor relations act, and, um, so we want things to establish for domestic workers or like the eight-hour workday. >> but how -- i mean, it must be so difficult because you talked about the long hours, people don't want to speak up and complain, so how can you attract people to do just that? >> they, um, now if we have laws and regulations, it would attract people to the industry. there's a fast turnover in the
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industry because if you're working 16 hours and a person tell you about a 12-hour day, you're going to leave that job because you need a better conditions of employment for yourself. and there's a fast turnover in the industry. everyone want the jobs to be decent jobs. recently i was at a meeting with care workers, and we talk about the elderly and the disability group being paid from state dollars for their care, and one caregiver passed me a note. we had one of the experts talking about a decent job, and she passed me a note saying i'm working for $9 an hour, is this a decent job? and she have two clients, two elderly people that she's taking care of. four hours with one person, then she go to another person for four hours.
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and so then we, when we talk about having a decent job, we mean having a job that's paying a living wage that a person can be able to eat and take care of themself at these jobs. and the steps have to increase, the pay for the workers that are taking care of the disability, disabled, and the elderly. so that the people who are taking care of them can realize this. >> ai-jen, as the national domestic workers' alliance who has been your allies in this effort, and i'm curious particularly about the role of organized labor. >> okay. well, we always say that in a campaign or a movement for human dignity that there's no such thing as an unlikely ally. and so we, actually, have made friends and build partnerships
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in all kinds of places beginning with employers. and even now we're building really strong relationships with the disability groups and older adult groups, senior groups and all kinds of organizations. um, and we have had a longstanding partnership with the afl-cio. the trade union movement does see the changes in the work force and sees that this sector is one of the fastest-growing work forces in the country and that if we're to try to improve working conditions for workers and rights for workers in this country, we've got the to be a labor movement -- we've got to be a labor movement that's inclusive of this work force. so for several years we've been building that relationship, and we are now in a long-term campaign called caring across general -- caring with generations who represent home workers around the country, collectively more than 700,000
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home care workers. and we're putting forward a vision that is inclusive not just of home care workers and domestic workers, but also of the consumers and the employers who count on care support and services every day. and the whole goal of the campaign is to actually expand access and affordability for all of the families who need care support and services and individuals as well as l improve the quality of these jobs for workers in the same vision and the same agenda for a more caring economy and a more caring country for all of us. so it's a vision to create jobs, make sure that those jobs are good jobs that you can take pride in and support your family on but also to support the families who are really struggling to afford the care and support that they need. and that's the kind of work that we belief -- that we believe is needed in this moment. it's not us and them, it's all
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of us together. and when we make this a priority for the country, so much is possible. i think the challenge with the austerity budgets is that it is coming from this place of scarcity, but i think we all know there's so many ways in which this country is resource-full. and our families are resource-full, and work forces are resource-full. and when we make something a priority, we can make it happen. so this is about bringing together all of these different experiences and interests to make this a national priority. >> mary, so many of the workers we're talking about are immigrant women. um, tell us about some of the challenges and maybe strategies for engaging them keeping in mind that some of them at this moment may not be of legal status and really reluctant. >> i think there's been a really long-held belief that immigrant workers cannot be organized and that they will not take the risk. however, there's a lot of success stories that really
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challenge that myth among janitors, among construction workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers and now with the national workers domestic alliance. and i think that a lot of the strategies it's hard to add to anything that is already being done by the domestics because they have been, um, very innovate i, recognizing the fact that these women work alone primarily in homes, and so they are to a very large degree isolated from each other. but identifying the places that they come together in terms of parks, in terms of churches, in terms of bus stops, um, it's just been incredible to watch how innovative they have been in terms of getting the message out and getting these women to participate in seeking out programs that would benefit them in terms of learning english, in terms of other types of skills
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and then, you know, moving them towards identifying as workers and improving, um, their working conditions and participating in the campaigns that have been set out. >> okay. we're going to start in the next few minutes talk about public policy before going to questions. judy, in california governor jerry brown recently vetoed the domestic worker bill of rights. lessons learned from that and next steps. >> so in terms of next steps, i'm going start there. we are about -- we meaning i'm only on the fringe of this -- but the coalition in california that's been working on this is about to introduce the final language for this session. it's the third time, we're hoping the third time is the charm. >> yes. laugh -- [laughter] >> so we've worked with two different, i would say, teams and some people have continued from one bill to the next in
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really trying to get this signed into law. the first time it didn't get to the governor's desk, it didn't get through the senate. last year it got to the governor's desk but got vetoed there. and so there have, obviously, been lessons all the way along. and i think it's helpful to think in doing the strategy about what can we control and what can't we control. so this last time around our governor had a big agenda in proposition that was on the ballot to increase revenues for the state. and i think every single decision he made about bills that he signed was really based on the importance of getting this proposition passed. so i think, i mean, there -- and i think there were the challenges in the disability community that made it even more difficult the second time
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around. the disability community really organized around the impact it would have on them. so it was a combination of, um, a governor who would sacrifice anything to get his proposition passed and then a lot of what had happened with the disability community but also what happened in the private sector with other employers who at the beginning raised a lot of issues about this. the coalition working on the bill took amendments, but that satisfied their concerns, but i think the language of the amendments was never quite integrated by the governor's office and integrated really into the larger business sector on what this bill was really about. there have been some really good lessons like the importance of identifying people in the capitol whether they were assembly members or senators or staffers who had links to the
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domestic work force. so in the process identified several elected officials whose parents, whose mothers had been domestic workers. they became huge advocates and public spokespeople about why this issue was so important. i think, and i probably should have started here, but one of the things that has impressed me so much about this work in california is that it has been done by a coalition of organizations working with domestic workers who have involved their members in such deep ways. i think i've never really witnessed a policy process where they would not move forward in accepting an amendment or crafting, you know, the next version of the bill without con consultation with their members which is a huge amount of work, as i'm sure most of you
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understand. but it has been so empowering. but it's really about the legislation, and it's also about a work force that increasingly understands their rights, feels like they can speak on their own behalf. so, you know, we, we hope it happens this year. there's -- the other thing i would say is that there are strategies in the governor's office that we're learning about and are working differently on this year to make sure we have some, more than one voice on the governor's staff advocating for the signing of this bill. so it's, um, it's a great adventure. it's lots of fun. [laughter] it's a wonderful coalition working on it. >> that's positive there. keeping positive. so you're still working. ai-jen, you have had success in new york. tell us what that has meant for domestic workers and if any of that can translate maybe on the federal level. >> so in new york we estimate that about 200,000 workers were affected by this bill passing in
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2010. the work force there is very large. um, you know, i think we often ask our members to imagine what new york city would look like if one day all of the domestic workers decided not to go to work. [laughter] hard to imagine a single sector that wouldn't be affected. and what we found is more and more workers are actively trying to seek out what their rights are, trying to understand what their rights are and trying to understand and figure out what it would look like to try to negotiate with their employers in a much more proactive way. so there are trainings, there are hotlines, there are lots of ways in which workers are starting to come to us more as a result of this new law being in place to try to figure out how can they use the existence of this law to leverage better working conditions and wages. and employers are also reaching out to us a lot. actually, most of the calls to the hotline in new york are from
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employers trying to learn what are their, what are the expectations of them under this new set of laws. so i think that all of that is starting to happen. although it's very decentralized. so there are real challenges in terms of enforcement. there are many, many employers and workers out there who have no idea that this law exists, and it's about constant outreach and education and creative ways of reaching out to people to raise awareness about the existence of the law. um, and i would say that one important fact or to have is that -- factor is, you know, one of our members said it best. she said i now feel like when i go to work every day, i can hold my head up high knowing that i'm recognized by the state of new york as a real worker. and i think just that recognition, that feeling goes a long way towards improving dignity at work. >> barbara, what change have you seen among the work force, and
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are there other things that could be done to encourage employees to come forward? >> yeah. for instance, now we have legal clinic also in the workers who think that they, um, are not being given a fair chance. at the new law. and also ai-jen talk about the hotline for both employers and employees. we are looking at getting changes so that employees can looking at what collective bargaining would look like for the employees, and -- but what we need is changes. we need -- [inaudible] changes from the department of labor that can make workers
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eligible for overtime and at least the minimum wage payment. we know that some employees working in the suburbs are still not getting, um, the minimum payment. we need both protections and enforcement and laws that govern workers. and this is not only for new york, but this is for around the country. and, um, one of the things i think about to -- ai-jen just spoke about a worker holding her head high and being recognized as a worker, and, but i think we just celebrated dr. martin luther king, and one of the things he talk about was work, dignity, humanity, and he said whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and it is
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for the building of humanity, it has dignity, and it has worth. and we as workers have dignity and worth. and until we look at our job that way and the public in general see us as dignified workers, then there will be changes. >> all right. last thing is the agenta for later this year -- agenda for later this year could well include immigration reform which would have a big impact on this work force. mary, what will you be looking for, and how could this change things? >> well, i think one of the things that needs to occur is the way in which we define who is a worker in this country. and in the case of domestic workers, they have been excluded early on on the basis that anyone who was getting, doing work in somebody's home were not eligible to be protected by the law.
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and so this definition of who's an employee as well as protection, i know there's been a variety of bills that have been passed to protect small businesses which identify a certain amount of employees in order for protections to be regulated. however, i think that the department of labor really needs to re-examine how we define an employee and get their definition to really reflect the reality that we're living in today. um, at the same time, we can see in the case of, like, for live-in domestic workers there's other occupations in which people live in such as firefighters, such as residential care workers in various institutions, and there has been no problem in trying to identify exactly how to pay them overtime and to pay them for the time there. but this seems to keep coming up
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as an exception. workers need to be covered under osha. it wouldn't take a lot to educate employers that they need to provide workers with, um, protective gloves, provide workers with mechanisms to help them lift their patients, also little things like making sure the elevator works for nannies who have to carry baby carriers which the ones that are coming out today can be quite enormous and heavy. [laughter] also sexual harassment is a big problem in domestic work, and yet there aren't provisions to protect them under civil rights legislation. and so they just need to be included in all this. we need to update what we have defined as an employee. and many of these exclusions
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come to the fact i want to return again that in the past it was done largely by african-american women and by immigrant women, and so those seem to be completing -- continuation of excluding these workers from the benefits that the rest of us expect. >> right. and, ai-jen, very briefly i know you are also looking toward the immigration debate. what will you be looking for? >> well, this moment on immigration is absolutely game changing. i think we have the opportunity in 2013 to bring millions of low-wage, mostly low-wage workers out of the shadows and onto a road to citizenship. and so we're incredibly excited. we're all in for that, and i think that it's going to make a transformative difference in the lives of millions of women workers, especially domestic workers who have been working in the shadows. the fact that there hasn't been a path to citizenship thus far has just meant that there's an extra layer of fear and
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isolation and vulnerability that this work force has faced on top of the exclusions, on top of the social discrimination, on top of the isolation. and so this is just an opportunity to kind of open up a whole new day for this work force. and so i hope that all of you will get involved in making that dream a reality and to watch with us for making sure that the road to citizenship is as inclusive and as broad as possible. oftentimes the details really matter, and in past versions of immigration reform there were requirements like having to prove steady employment which, as many of you know, is very difficult for all undocumented workers, let alone domestic workers. and so we have to make sure that when we define the road to citizenship, it is inclusive and it doesn't replicate the kinds of exclusions that we have faced
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in the past and that we really think about this as a moment to press the reset button and create a new today for low-wage workers. >> thank you so much, everyone. [applause] so questions? remember to wait for the mic. right here in the front row, and introduce yourself when you get the mic. >> yes. do you want me to stand? [inaudible] [laughter] hello. thank you very much. my name is jeffrey slavin, i am a local philanthropist, and i am a -- i was raised by nestic employees, african-american, and i've been an employer of domestic employers for 35 years, immigrant. i am -- i think it's really important to say that domestic workers take care of our most valuable assets, our homes and our children. and i think that, unfortunately, we've heard some nice stories
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here, but what i've learned today really realize that the business model for domestic workers in this country is slavery, and we -- what we really need to do is raise the level of professionalism. because i truly believe that this can be a career, you know, a career job for people. and if you think about how complicated the household is today, taking care of a house and raising children or taking care of the elderly, you know, you have equipment, you have supplies, chemicals, you have psychology, nutrition, shopping, time management and driving. and i think that we can create positions that you can move up in and acquire more skills and then -- and i do think the employers will pay higher wages if skills are higher and the experience is higher. so i'm very encouraged by what i'm hearing today. >> thank you so much. >> just maybe move to the back of the room there.
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>> my name's li young. i heard about domestic workers, immigrants and low-wage workers, but my basic question is a little bit social perspective and relative sense. do you think you are, in a sense, how many workers will not have to be domestic workers or low-wage workers if their house, their fam are not broken up -- their family are not broken up in and the same as the employer, if spouse is not broken up, is not divorced? do you think they really need in such a desperate manner, but they cannot really afford that domestic worker or higher wages? and you are pushing for higher wage, but do you think pushing
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that is more useful than the relative sense that you maintain good stability of your life rather than say even a higher wage, $10 per hour is not even enough for you to pay a traffic ticket. so do you think you have to really work on solving a social issue, the policy issues rather than the -- so the -- [inaudible] lower wage. >> that sounds like maybe another panel discussion, but it certainly gets at the demographic changes and social changes that are really driving this. do you want to address that, ai-jen? >> do you want to -- [laughter] go ahead. >> well, i think -- [laughter] i think this does really speak to some of the cultural change that we see happening, and i would say regardless of these social and cultural changes, shifts that are happening in our country, if somebody works for a whole day, they deserve to make
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enough to support themselves whether their family, um, is, you know, intact as you were talking about it or not. but this is really, i think, about the fundamental principle that if you work a full day, you deserve to be paid a wage that lets you live and meet your basic needs. >> we should also note that even in two-income families that are intact, they're both working, and there's this big need for caregivers. who would -- where's the mic? i don't know where the mic is. maybe right there, the lady in the brown and orange? >> hi. judith levey, d.c. coalition on home and care. approximately 20 states are applying to be developing health insurance exchanges across the country, and health benefits is one thing that domestic workers don't have, and health is a very important care, you know, getting healthy and being healthy and staying healthy is
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very important. how do you see, um, that impacting the domestic care workers? >> that's a great question. well, um, health care reform was a huge step forward, and this is a lot of fights in the states now about making sure that the states adopt medicaid expansion under the health care reform because that would provide access to health care for a lot of very low-income workers or who currently don't have access to health care. um, so that includes some domestic workers, certainly. and in new york one thing that we're experimenting with is trying to create a domestic worker-specific health insurance program that lowers the cost of health care for domestic workers through limiting the number of facilities and just trying to be creative about how to keep the costs down. because the reality is even with
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reform it's going to be, you know, it's going to be a challenge to afford it for a domestic worker earning poverty wages. and, um, and finally i'd say that immigration reform is a huge, is a huge factor here as well because undocumented immigrants currently are not included under the affordable care act. so to make sure that if we can actually create a road to citizenship for all of these a workers that actually expands, there's a way in which health care reform and immigration connects, and more domestic workers or or can actually be eligible for health insurance. so, um, so all of these things are opportunities, and we have to continue to expand the opportunities. >> okay. over here. >> hello. my name is leonid jones, and i was formerly on the board of the women's foundation of california. i, one of the great difficulties as an employer for my mother was
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that i got a call in 2003 that she had fallen and that she really couldn't go home again. and so i began toed -- the odyssey of employing a number of people to care for my mother. i did get a contract, but i got it from calling a friend who had employed someone for a number of years. the friend who just left, i called him to ask him what is a fair wage, um, to try and establish a rate. i then tried to pay social security, which is a nightmare if you, you know, i had 24-hour care, monday through friday, no problem. the weekend was -- so i ended up having a nurple of people -- a number of people i employed and paid social security. ..
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to create tax credits for employers who are paying out of pocket for care. so we are looking at all times of policy measures as well to make things easier for employers. but certainly there are resources out there like hand-in-hand. >> we are going through a really volatile time. >> absolutely.
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thank you. spend can we get a mic up here? >> just to comment, it was an observation that there isn't an pretty good job of organizing themselves with social media, and i have service in a lot of education going on in community, about hiring, about bonus practices, all of these things that really can serve to raise the quality of the jobs. much less so around the long-term care. you know, there's not as much organizing for people whose parents are aging, you know? there's no d.c. urban like parents of aging -- and so it occurs to me that there's a population there. i mean, there's both an opportunity to tap the parenting
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networks with the kind of information to those who hire childcare workers. the same thing kind of needs to happen somehow for the long-term care workers. >> absolutely. i really want to encourage everybody to go to the website, carrying across generations.org. very soon this year will be launching our carrying across generations aspin site which will be a resource that specifically targets people who are looking to find out more information about how to navigate long-term care needs for their family members, and how to get involved in the campaign that is about expanding, flexible and affordability as well as improving job quality. so www.carrying across generations.org, and get involved, sign-up, we are a movement that is growing and is seeking to do exactly what you said, get people engaged and involved, and helping to move real change forward.
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>> i'm carolyn. barber, this question is to you. i'm curious how you went from being an employee do this life changing change advocate in this field. it must've been a remarkable shift? >> yes, it was. i must say that before i came to the u.s., i came from barbados. i was a labor activist. i was, i was a delegate in the trade union, the workers union. after working as a nanny here in this country, and realizing that the exclusion, the work as a
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nanny, i find that once again, that power again to help and to mobilize and to advocate. so domestic workers, and so i didn't -- in new york, and after that training i just decide this is my calling. i need to get back, i need to get workers value to help them, to represent themselves. and basically, this is what's happening now in terms of new york. we establish an ambassador program. workers inform other workers. flyers, leaflets, whatever they know, and seek help.
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there still a lot of workers income not only new york, but about around the country now that we need to find. some people are still, you know this industry is a lot of -- some people are fearful of coming forward, and the more we talked about it, the more we put out there, the more workers care about it and come out of the shadows. >> time is up? all right. thank you so much. spent please give a big round of applause for our panelists. [applause] >> and thank you so much to all of you for coming. we really appreciate your coming and participating. we will be having another event on march 6. will be talking about the minimum wage, so please come join us if you can. thanks again. [inaudible conversations]
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spent today the house judiciary committee is testament on immigration reform. members will examine the current system and how it is being enforced. live coverage starting at 10:15 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> today, house majority leader eric cantor will talk about ways congress can make life easier for the american people. expected topics include education, immigration and health care policy. we will be life in the american enterprise institute at 1 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> julia loved her time in the white house. she says in her memoir, it's like a bright and beautiful dream. white, most wonderful time of my life. so i think that gives you some idea of how much she enjoyed being first lady, and how she felt that her husband had finally achieved the recognition he deserved. >> historian edith mayo on julia
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grant who married her brothers west point roommate, ulysses s. grant. c. spends new series, first ladies influence in image, the public and private life, interests and their influence on the presidents, produce with the white house historical association, season one begins presidents they figure 18 at 9 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> last week, a bipartisan group of eight senators outlined a comprehensive immigration reform bill. next, a discussion on immigration policy looking at conservative viewpoints. this is about an hour 15 minutes. >> welcome everyone to the american enterprise institute. i'd like to first thank america's future foundation for the willingness to partner with a guide to host this event and hope you all take rogers words to heart and look at their events and all the wonderful opportunities that they offer
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for young professionals. since the twinkle of election, it seems immigration reform has left the news. we are all of these numbers bandied about left and right from just one piece from today's we can learn that one-tenth of the u.s. population is foreign-born. one quarter of. one quarter of taken engine business is started between 1995-2005 had a foreign-born only. one half of silicon valley's tech startups have a foreign-born founder. we hear about the memories -- and extradition cannot of growth we can expect from increased immigration, and, of course, what about the numbers, the 11 million illegal immigrants, and 1951-mile border, that we could build to secure the border. it's important for us to remember that behind all of these numbers are real people. our immigration policy defines who we are as a nation. our concept of fairness, experts are dedication to hard work,
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family and the community. and given that america is a country dedicated to equality of opportunity and liberty for all, it seems there's a growing consensus that our immigration system doesn't make sense. so where does this lead is? and specifically where does it leave conservatives? for a movement that is focused on principles of rebuilding our economy or making government systems better for people, for movement of dedicate to renew the american values of family, is the in dash been an agenda that a publicly toxic for conservatives? we will hear from a variety of experts that have a lot to offer on our immigration system. we will kick it off with alex nowrasteh comes immigration policy analyst at figure institute's center for global liberty and prosperity who can explain in great detail the details of our current immigration system, and the changes he thinks are necessary. alex briefly worked at the competitive enterprise institute and has appeared in the washington, houston chronicle, "boston globe," politico, journal of economic behavior, and many other places.
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he has appeared on fox news and hasn't numerous television every stations across the us. we will exit from peter brown, director for deloitte federal government relations group who can give us idea of how our immigration system affects business. peter is a leader in -- federal legislative and executive branches. he worke works to advocate for deloitte and raise the visibility of the firm. his primary focus is in national security defense procurement and high skilled immigration. is worked with leading public and private sector organizations and professional services in public policy for 16 years. peter will be followed by joshua culling, government affairs manager at americans for tax reform. he will explain his take on the fiscal conservative immigration system. josh is responsible for federal immigration advocacy and state budget and tax issues. he previously handled state government affairs at the national taxpayers union, and before that he served as legislative assistant to alex energy environment and agricultural and civil justice
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tax forces. finally, we will hear from reihan salam on the substance and the politics of immigration reform. reihan salam is a nonfiction writer and a policy analyst. is a policy advisor for economics 21, a contributing editor at "national review" and a columnist for reuters opinion and dcma contributed. after each of our panelists be, we will take questions from the audience so please wait for a microphone before you ask your question as the event is being live stream and w we would like you to be picked up. finally, please form any statement released in the form of the question. thanks, and i will turn it over to alex. >> thank you laura, and is a pleasure to be here tonight. this is the earliest i've been out of the office in weeks, based on how much this issue has been in the news was a pleasure to be here. so i think a pivotal question is what should a supporter of free market and private enterprise think about immigration. what should a good policy be? now, of course i think this answer, the answer to this question is very simple and
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straightforward. legal immigration, whether through a guestworker program or through a permanent migration i think should be a lot easier for most people throughout the world, especially for workers. i think this conclusion is pretty easy and simple to reach. i think it's natural for free marketeers. i think, and eventually matter what basis you approach it from. whether you're a natural rights-based free marketeers, whether you like free markets because of consequentialism, or utilitarian arguments, or whether you reach that their ethical intuition listen, i think the answer is focusing. let's give you a bit of a set up. of all the markets in the world that have to do with the flow of goods and services, or the flow of factors our production, labor's public the most tricky of all of them. the labor market is one of the largest and most important in the united states and in the world. not only to our economy i think to our moral and ethical health as a nation come and individually.
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nothing is very much more depressing i think ending unemployed as we know in this economies so it's very important for our society. free marketeers know that deregulating, opening of economies allowing more competition, allowing free flow and allowing freedom leads to better results. and this i think is the same in labor markets internationally as it is in other markets domestically. so i'm going to approach this issue from an economist and put. that's where my trinkets and so let's talk about some of the issues that people are most concerned about. how will immigration affect wages in the united states, how has and the recent past? there's a lot of papers about this. a lot of. a lot of detail coming days ago the answer is not very much. they are 40 million foreign-born workers, americans, right now in the united states. about 13% of the united states is foreign-born, and the big issue is wages for americans have not decreased very much